FEB 27, 2018 05:02 PM PST

Meet the Ship That Flips 90º to Study the Ocean


Most ships are designed to lay flat on the ocean's surface, but FLIP does just the opposite.

FLIP, also known as the Floating Instrument Platform, is an engineless ship that gets tugged out to the ocean by another boat. It was initially built for the United States Navy in the 60's to study submarine warfare, but it gets used for scientific ocean research in modern times.

FLIP measures about 355 feet in length, but you won't see all that ship when it's in the middle of conducting scientific research. The ship gets its name from how it flips a full 90º until sitting vertically in the ocean. While in this mode, at least 300 feet of the vessel hides underneath the ocean's surface.

So what's the point of it all? This vertical positioning allows FLIP to stretch deep beneath the ocean's surface, where its sensors work together as an oceanic probe. With it, we can study marine animals and ocean movements during storms, among other things.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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